Booked 2 round trip flights with identical return legs

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Oct 23, 2019
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On October 1st I booked a PHX-TLV TLV-TUS multi city round trip flight through Chase Ultimate Rewards. I like booking through them because they give you until 11:59pm the following day to cancel for a full refund. The next day, October 2nd, I saw a flight that looked a little better, a TUS-TLV round-trip flight, so I booked that one. It had a different departure time and day but the same return flight. Later that day I received an email from Chase Ultimate Rewards saying that United had cancelled my PHX-TLV TLV-TUS flight. I called Chase and they told me United would be issuing me a refund. This was fine as I decided on the TUS-TLV flight anyway. Fast forward a couple weeks, and still no refund. I called Chase again and while on the phone with them, they contacted United, who said I would have to fill out the refunds form at united.com/refunds, and the reason they cancelled my flight was because a customer can't have 2 identical flights booked at the same time.

So I filled out the form, and 7 days later I received an email from United saying "While the fare rules don't allow a refund or name change, you can exchange your ticket for future travel. A service charge as well as any applicable fare difference will apply." This doesn't seem fair to me. I had no ulterior motive. I just wasn't sure which flight to decide on. I wasn't even given the chance to cancel the PHX flight before 11:59pm that night. Can anyone help me?
 

Neil Maley

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On October 1st I booked a PHX-TLV TLV-TUS multi city round trip flight through Chase Ultimate Rewards. I like booking through them because they give you until 11:59pm the following day to cancel for a full refund. The next day, October 2nd, I saw a flight that looked a little better, a TUS-TLV round-trip flight, so I booked that one. It had a different departure time and day but the same return flight. Later that day I received an email from Chase Ultimate Rewards saying that United had cancelled my PHX-TLV TLV-TUS flight. I called Chase and they told me United would be issuing me a refund. This was fine as I decided on the TUS-TLV flight anyway. Fast forward a couple weeks, and still no refund. I called Chase again and while on the phone with them, they contacted United, who said I would have to fill out the refunds form at united.com/refunds, and the reason they cancelled my flight was because a customer can't have 2 identical flights booked at the same time.

So I filled out the form, and 7 days later I received an email from United saying "While the fare rules don't allow a refund or name change, you can exchange your ticket for future travel. A service charge as well as any applicable fare difference will apply." This doesn't seem fair to me. I had no ulterior motive. I just wasn't sure which flight to decide on. I wasn't even given the chance to cancel the PHX flight before 11:59pm that night. Can anyone help me?
You had 24 hours to cancel the first booking. Did you actually tell Chase to cancel it?
 
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jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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Oh what a shame. It's vital that travel arrangements are handled "individually". In other words, if you have a booking and want to cancel it, do all that first before moving on the the new booking. Kinda like 1, 2, 3, 4 ... all issues handled one at a time, each step waiting until the previous step is totally complete.

I would write to Chase and throw yourself on their mercy. Tell then you thought that the first step was all complete when you made the second booking. If you used UR points for the purchases, Chase has paid out the money to the airline. Theoretically, they're subject to the same cancel/change fees as any other purchaser of an airline tix. Any refund would come back to them and they would then credit back the points you spent. Or did you just use Chase as a "booking service" for the flights, paying for them with your Chase credit card?
 
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VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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When United says "the reason they cancelled my flight was because a customer can't have 2 identical flights booked at the same time", I believe that this is true even if it is only so for one or more of the totals number of segments in an itinerary.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Now hold on a second.... if the OP can prove that the cancellation was made within 24 hours, shouldn't United honor that and refund the money? As @jsn55 posted, the refund would go back to Chase and then Chase can repost the points.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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It is against the Contract of Carriage to have duplicate bookings.

UA reserves the right to cancel bookings and/or reservations which it deems fraudulent, abusive, illogical, fictitious, which are booked and/or reserved with no intention of flying, or for which the passenger makes a misrepresentation without notice to the passenger or the individual making the booking. The types of improper reservations that UA will cancel without notice include, but are not limited to: reservations made without having been requested by or on behalf of the named passenger; reservations made to hold or block seats for the purpose of obtaining lower fares, MP award inventory, or upgrades that may not otherwise be available; reservations made to manipulate, abuse, or circumvent any of UA’s fare rules, policies or provisions; reservations made for the same passenger on flights traveling on or about the same date between one or more of the same or nearby origin or destination cities; and reservations with connections that depart before the arrival on the inbound flight.

Is there a reason that you did not cancel the unwanted flight immediately after booking the second?
 
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Sep 19, 2015
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Now hold on a second.... if the OP can prove that the cancellation was made within 24 hours, shouldn't United honor that and refund the money? As @jsn55 posted, the refund would go back to Chase and then Chase can repost the points.

Well the contract of carriage does not mandate the refund:

UA’s Remedies for Violation(s) of Rules - Where a Ticket is purchased and used in violation of the law, these rules or any fare rule (including Hidden Cities Ticketing, Point Beyond Ticketing, Throwaway Ticketing, or Back-to-Back Ticketing), UA, without notice to the passenger, has the right in its sole discretion to take all actions permitted by law, including but not limited to, the following:
  1. Invalidate the Ticket(s);
  2. Cancel any remaining portion of the Passenger’s itinerary;
  3. Confiscate any unused Flight Coupons until the amount reflected in 5) below is collected;

The problem is that the OP did not do the cancellation -- the United computer caught it.
 
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Oct 23, 2019
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United cancelled the flight about 32 hours after I booked it. I didn't cancel it. But Chase allows you until 11:59pm the next day to cancel, which should've given me about 40 hours. Now that I know it's against the contract of carriage I won't do this again, but I didn't know it at the time. I disputed the charge with Chase so am hoping for the best.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Well the contract of carriage does not mandate the refund:

UA’s Remedies for Violation(s) of Rules - Where a Ticket is purchased and used in violation of the law, these rules or any fare rule (including Hidden Cities Ticketing, Point Beyond Ticketing, Throwaway Ticketing, or Back-to-Back Ticketing), UA, without notice to the passenger, has the right in its sole discretion to take all actions permitted by law, including but not limited to, the following:
  1. Invalidate the Ticket(s);
  2. Cancel any remaining portion of the Passenger’s itinerary;
  3. Confiscate any unused Flight Coupons until the amount reflected in 5) below is collected;

The problem is that the OP did not do the cancellation -- the United computer caught it.
I see nothing in the COC where it specifies that the passenger must request the cancellation. It simply states that the cancellation needs to be made within 24 hours of the time of the booking.

I realize this is technicalities, but still...
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I see nothing in the COC where it specifies that the passenger must request the cancellation. It simply states that the cancellation needs to be made within 24 hours of the time of the booking.

I realize this is technicalities, but still...
Um -- having duplicate flights is a violation of the contract of carriage and when such ticketing is discovered the airline reserves the right to invalidate a ticket.

I have made a reservation from LGA to ORD around 8 am on a day-- but then decided to fly EWR to ORD on the same day and around 8 am because of LGA construction -- as soon as I made the second reservation I cancelled the first.

Once one sits with duplicate and conflicting reservations and gets caught -- that is when the problem starts. Passenger quickly cancels -- refund -- Airline catches the passenger holding duplicate flights -- several hours had passed -- that is a problem.
 
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Neil Maley

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United cancelled the flight about 32 hours after I booked it. I didn't cancel it. But Chase allows you until 11:59pm the next day to cancel, which should've given me about 40 hours. Now that I know it's against the contract of carriage I won't do this again, but I didn't know it at the time. I disputed the charge with Chase so am hoping for the best.
You can cancel a flight 24 hours after you book it at no charge IF you book directly through the airline. That is not so when you book through a third party, although most honor it. I’m not quite sure where you are getting 40 hours. If Chase told you that, then you need to go back to Chase with your issue.

Duplicate tickets are forbidden on most airlines.
 

Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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United cancelled the flight about 32 hours after I booked it. I didn't cancel it. But Chase allows you until 11:59pm the next day to cancel, which should've given me about 40 hours. Now that I know it's against the contract of carriage I won't do this again, but I didn't know it at the time. I disputed the charge with Chase so am hoping for the best.
I'm no math whiz, but even at the best case scenario, with only 24 hours in a day, I can't figure out where you are getting 40 hours from?
 

Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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Now hold on a second.... if the OP can prove that the cancellation was made within 24 hours, shouldn't United honor that and refund the money? As @jsn55 posted, the refund would go back to Chase and then Chase can repost the points.
I believe the OP said, "United cancelled the flight about 32 hours after I booked it." I assume meaning, "cancelled the ticket" not the flight.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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I'm no math whiz, but even at the best case scenario, with only 24 hours in a day, I can't figure out where you are getting 40 hours from?
IF the "cancel until 11:59pm the next day" rule is correct, if you bought tickets at say 8am then 11:59pm the next day would be 40 hours later. I've never booked with Chase though so have no idea if that rule is correct. If it is true you could technically get 48 hours to cancel if you booked the flight at 12:01am - you'd get all that day and then all the next day.
 
Oct 23, 2019
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IF the "cancel until 11:59pm the next day" rule is correct, if you bought tickets at say 8am then 11:59pm the next day would be 40 hours later. I've never booked with Chase though so have no idea if that rule is correct. If it is true you could technically get 48 hours to cancel if you booked the flight at 12:01am - you'd get all that day and then all the next day.
Yes, what justlisa said is correct. That's why I said 40 hours.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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I don't think you should be "punished" for an innocent error. I don't know many people who have ever even LOOKED at a Contract of Carriage. I hope Chase will help you. I can't help reflecting on issues like this as old-time good manners. If you have a plan and change your mind, first you cancel that plan. Then you proceed. It would keep many travellers out of trouble, whether they know the rules or not.